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A Racial Difference in the Incidence of Lactase Deficiency (A Hereditary Tummy-Ache?).

Theodore M. Bayless, M.D.; Shi-Shung Huang, M.D.; and Norton S. Rosensweig, M.D.
Ann Intern Med. 1967;66(5):1030-1031. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-66-5-1030_3
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When some adults ingest more than one or two glasses of milk, they develop abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Their symptoms can be reproduced with oral lactose, the milk sugar, and the enzyme that digests lactose is deficient in their jejunal mucosa.

The prevalence of this enzyme deficiency in the general population is not known. The etiologic possibilities include (1) adaptation to decreased milk intake, (2) damage to the intestine, and (3) a genetically determined trait.

In an incidence survey of 40 consecutive healthy adult males (20 Negroes and 20 whites), 19 of the 20 Negro and 2 of the 20


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